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2009 RDX ready for the scrap yard? ..owner review

 
Old 03-19-2019, 10:22 AM
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2009 RDX ready for the scrap yard? ..owner review

Hello just wanted to give our review as RDX owners; My wife has owned her 2009 RDX since 2010 ( bought from Ford dealer second hand/ build date August 2008). It has been a great reliable vehicle for her for 9 plus years as she only drives 7,000 KMs per year ( odometer now 90,000 KMs). Unfortunately it has now developed several major issues. Slow leaking power steering rack for last 3 years / newly undetermined coolant leak. We've only repaired the worn wiper arm connector and that's been the only repair item in 9 years! All other costs have been for normal maintenance items: fluid changes , worn out bulbs, brake rotors and pads..etc. My guess is that to keep it running for another 5 years will require the 2 major repairs listed above plus the potential of alternator/ fuel pump / AC compressor and other wear items that any 10+ year old vehicle would require. We've decided to just do the bare minimum maintenance to keep it running safely for now and just sell for parts value once it becomes undriveable as the problems really pile up. I told her it could run another 2 years or it could go kaput any day. Fortunately she can afford to buy a new one but she views cars more as an appliance and kept driving her old RDX as she prefers to spend her money on shopping ...lol. I don't think it's worth spending big bucks to keep the RDX running in top form due to it's age. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the tips and advice I've read over the years even though this is my first time posting in the forum! Dave L
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:40 PM
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I know you're already preparing to get rid of it so no point talking about fixes, but I am curious...considering the low mileage, do you know if the steering fluid and coolant have ever been replaced?
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:12 PM
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We've only changed the brake fluid and engine oil as is normal. If we were planning to keep it running for several more years then I would be doing the A.T / differential and coolant flush this year. I don't know if keeping the factory installed coolant for 11 years has exacerbated the coolant loss issue as it's undetermined were the leak is. The power steering rack leak is a fairly common issue on a 11 year old RDX.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:08 PM
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That's mainly why I asked. While low on miles, coolant becomes corrosive over time and can definitely cause premature failure of related components. Generally factory fluid should be changed at 5 yrs/150k miles - whatever comes first. Not sure if p/s fluid deteriorates in the same fashion, but you are right in that there were a fair amount of leaky racks from that time period. Good luck on your next car, and definitely change the fluid on time even if she only drives it 35k km in the first 5 years. haha
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:35 PM
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Tube of coolant that may be rusted is not that expensive to replace.
Power steering rack, is expensive but maybe could be just rebuilt if you are a DIY
Any way, 2 cars payments will cover the major repair (steering)
Alternator or anything else can brake even in a new car, but also not that expensive.
Fun car to drive anyway.
The big question is, how rusted is it, I think you are in Canada like me.
Mine is a 2007 past 280 000KM and repairing the turbo at moment, I think I still have a lot more from this car.
Good luck with your choice.

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Old 03-22-2019, 07:18 AM
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280K's is impressive! Visually her RDX is in almost perfect condition as I do my own detailing and the paint is still in showroom condition with no rust. Interior also looks fantastic( Weathertech floorliners/ no kids and mostly local commuting only). I'm surprised at how much used one's are selling for so we will just sell it privately. She tested the 2019 RDX and really likes it,but wasn't keen on the infotainment and lack of CD player...lol. Also reliability hasn't been good on the 2019's.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:17 PM
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The 2019 is back with a 4cyl and turbo, they have dropped the 6cyl.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by David L View Post
280K's is impressive! Visually her RDX is in almost perfect condition as I do my own detailing and the paint is still in showroom condition with no rust. Interior also looks fantastic( Weathertech floorliners/ no kids and mostly local commuting only). I'm surprised at how much used one's are selling for so we will just sell it privately. She tested the 2019 RDX and really likes it,but wasn't keen on the infotainment and lack of CD player...lol. Also reliability hasn't been good on the 2019's.
Any new car with an updated infotainment system doesn't have a CD player. People use USB flash drives or their bluetooth streaming from their phone.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:03 PM
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Lightbulb Definitely Time For the Junkyard!!!

Sounds like your RDX has lived all it needs to. Time for the junkyard. Luckily I have a junkyard business and can take it off your hands for a modest towing & environmental fee ;-)

The rack replacement is not too big a deal if you go with a remanufactured one and don't use the dealer. It is normally only the seals that need replaced anyway. If you're not the butter knife = screwdriver type this could be a DIY, but you'll even find independent low overhead shops that will do it for $600...around here in Texas at least.

If it isn't rusted out you will get many more fun miles out of it, or someone will. No way is this a junker yet!

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Old 06-03-2019, 07:59 PM
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Update on the wife's 2009 RDX; Good news, we finally had the coolant leak inspected and surprise, they could not find any leaks. ( I thought I saw a few instances of excessive white exhaust plumes indicating a coolant leak ) . We then had the transmission , rear diff and coolant fluids replaced at the Acura dealer for the first time ever. The dealer told me that the leaking steering rack was minor enough that we could defer it for at least another 2 to 3 years and then decide if we want to repair it. So bottom line, we'll keep it running for now and hopefully we can get another 3 years out of it without any major repairs, fingers crossed! Thanks for all the reply's.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:35 PM
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If the white exhaust was on cold starts, it may have also been condensation turning into steam as the car warmed up. What was the original symptom that led you to believe there was a coolant leak? Just a low reservoir or something else? I only ask because the cooling system in this car is not pressurized and coolant can slowly evaporate over time (I usually add a few ounces of water when I change the oil). If you were rocking 11 year old coolant that hadn't been inspected or topped off, I would certainly expect it to be low.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by David L View Post
Update on the wife's 2009 RDX; Good news ... hopefully we can get another 3 years out of it without any major repairs, fingers crossed!
Great car, enjoy it!
For your reference I got mine @208k km now have over 263k, no alternator or starter problems yet, just the A.C. clutch may have to be addressed this year. Radiator was replaced as preventive maintenance, it had a good run after all.



Originally Posted by Tomtwtwtw View Post
...because the cooling system in this car is not pressurized and coolant can slowly evaporate over time...
Can you please detail whether you are referring only to the expansion tank or does that include the radiator-engine portion of system as well?

I thought the rad cap holds some pressure, maybe under 15psi, thus increasing the temperature level at which it can actually boil while operating the car. I remember some explosive gushing when I tried to remove it without waiting for cooling out, base rdx 2008.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Altair View Post
Can you please detail whether you are referring only to the expansion tank or does that include the radiator-engine portion of system as well?

I thought the rad cap holds some pressure, maybe under 15psi, thus increasing the temperature level at which it can actually boil while operating the car. I remember some explosive gushing when I tried to remove it without waiting for cooling out, base rdx 2008.
Whole system runs with no added pressurization. While pressure does increase the boiling point, it's not always necessary. A proper coolant/water mix boils at about 240, and under 15 psi that goes to about 260. My old Cobalt ran at 205 on the dot under normal operation, but if I recall right the RDX runs a good bit lower. (I'd have to re-connect my bluetooth reader to get an actual temp reading) But in both cases you probably a similar amount of headroom between normal operating temp and being in the red.

Coming from GM cars before owning this, I was also used to pressurized systems, but my mechanic confirmed that the cooling system on the RDX does not build pressure. Compare the caps on one of those cooling systems vs the little plastic cap on ours, and it makes perfect sense. One is a heavy duty, thick plastic cap that has warnings on it about being under pressure, and one is a little thin plastic piece that just threads on top of the tank.

If you removed the radiator cap (hot or cold), coolant most likely came out because the liquid in the overflow tank is higher off the ground than the radiator cap. Once the cap is open, gravity will do its thing it'll flow out until the overflow is empty.


RDX cap

Typical GM pressurized cap
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